Thursday, August 2, 2007


The University of Amsterdam

First founded as the Athenaeum Illustre in 1632, the University of Amsterdam was built to educate students in Trade and Philosophy. During the early days, when this establishment was not yet a proper university, the lessons were generally given at the homes of the professors, and until the nineteenth century, the Athenaeum remained as a small institution, with no more than 250 students and eight teachers.

In 1877, the Athenaeum Illustre saw its boom when it was changed to Universiteit van Amsterdam, now known as UvA or University of Amsterdam. It was also during that time that the University of Amsterdam was permitted to bestow the highest educational degrees.

Since the name change, years of rapid growth lay ahead. By 1900, it was recorded that there were about 900 students studying at the University of Amsterdam. This number had risen to 2,500 by 1935, and to 7,500 by 1960. The following years, more fields of study and research were introduced and the new university departments were formed.

The University of Amsterdam these days has already more than 22,000 students. It is also worth noting that from Trade to Philosophy, the original Athenaeum Illustre had expanded into a comprehensive university offering almost 60 disciplinary fields. Of these fields, the field of technology is an exception.

With its number of students, the University of Amsterdam achieved the title of being one of the major comprehensive universities in the whole continent of Europe. The title is also attributed to the university’s budget of 487 million euros. The University of Amsterdam currently has a strong internalization programme and as an Amsterdam-based university, they offer a number of Dutch and English language courses. In addition, the University has seven faculties covering humanities, social and behavioral sciences, economic and business, medicine and dentistry, science, and law.

It is further interesting to know that the University of Amsterdam offers a comprehensive range of academic study programmes. They also publish scholarly articles of around 7,500 every year. As it is highly claimed, the fundamental academic research of the university is top of the international league in a number of respects. And, in terms of their applied research programmes, it has been noted that these programmes are often of interdisciplinary nature and they generally often focus on the social issues.

What’s more interesting to know is the fact that the University now has a number of great libraries and museums. In particular, there is the University Musuem, Art and the UvA, Allard Pierson Museum, Museum Vrolik, Schriftmusuem J.A. Dortmond, UvA Computer Museum, Zoological Museum Amsterdam, and Libraries. All of these carry a great collection of necessary materials like documentation, records, art crafts, and a lot more.

Finally, as a well-known and reputable institution, the University of Amsterdam now strives so hard to offer an inspiring and broadly oriented international academic environment where both members of the staff and students can enhance their capabilities to achieve an optimum result. It is interesting to know that the University of Amsterdam is now characterized by a critical, creative and international atmosphere, open minded and strongly engaged with society. And, since it was founded in both the historic and modern buildings spread throughout the city, the University greatly forms an integral part of the Amsterdam.

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